Monthly Archives: December 2014

From little things, big things grow.

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Our school held it’s Presentation Evening tonight, in conjunction with our Year 10 graduation. Part of our principal’s speech focused on ‘service learning’, being ‘digitally connected’ and ‘learning beyond walls’.  It got me thinking about my classroom practices…(hence I missed the rest of her speech).

As a Lutheran school, we hold weekly Chapel worship services and students have the opportunity to make an offering, to go towards a cause. This term our cause was ‘Gifts of Grace’, where we selected a variety of items like mosquito nets, school uniforms and long drop loos to spend our money on for people in Africa. This is great in theory, but our weekly Chapel offerings dwindle between ‘bare minimum’ and ‘not much’. I had a brainwave to hold a Christmas stall to raise money for this worthy cause. We asked the Year 3 and 4 students to help create items during a common time each week, and approached other classes to see if they would like to help too.  

Yesterday and today, we opened our stall and sold a multitude of soaps wrapped in face washers, Christmas ornaments, decorated peg magnets, 2015 calendars, bookmarks, loom bands and much more!  After recently running a money investigation in Maths, I was delighted to hear some of my students behind the counter using terms such as budget, change, income, profit and also using their mathematical skills to calculate the costs of each purchase.  With the profit and the Chapel Money, we have selected numbers of each item to buy for the people of Africa. So far we have bought them 2 long drop loos. I wonder how many more we could buy…

How did we make it all happen?

Relationships played a part – to build empathy, compassion and motivation.

Technology played a part – to provide ideas for saleable items, photo tutorials for the students to follow, and for the photos we took to document our success.

Dedication played a part – to help these students see that hard work pays off, and there are often many failures standing in the way of our successes…hence the ‘handmade soap’ we didn’t sell that didn’t quite go to plan…

This activity covered service learning, being digitally connected and learning beyond walls.  As the total amount is still being counted (plus we have a few things leftover that we plan on selling tomorrow)…I know for a fact that we have raised over $300 from our Christmas stall.

From little things, big things grow.

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